Mumbai: An international frequent flyer was seen bargaining just outside of the international airport here, with a shared auto driver. The argument was over the auto fare for a drop not far away from the airport. The autowala asked for Rs.30 while the frequent flyer insisted on giving Rs. 20. When the argument was getting heated up, fellow passengers stepped in to stop the fight from becoming physical.
Faking News reporter, already late for the flight to Chennai, stopped for enough time to cover the story. “When I had left last week, I had taken the shared auto and it was only Rs.20. There has been no price hike, new cess or new demonitisation in the last one week then how can the fare increase to Rs.30?”, the frequent flyer argued.
The autowala argued that the rates depended on the pickup point and drop point. “Everyone knows that auto ride costs less if you are going to a place from where we can get another passenger. That is why a ride to the airport costs less but the ride from an airport costs more as there is no guarantee of getting a passenger outside”, Autowala explained their business model.
“Location is always the determining factor of price. Do you guys question the popcorn price in a multiplex? Or hiked up water bottle prices in a mall? We guys are the easy targets as we are readily available on the streets. Just yesterday, I dropped a guy to a multiplex, Clearly, that fellow was going to waste Rs. 500 there. But, this guy was arguing about Rs.50 auto charges. I admit that I took a longer route but I did that only to avoid traffic”, the Autowala got furious over tasteless Indian consumer community.
The frequent flyer defended his outrage over this 10 Rupee hike and said, “Getting Indian currency, in small change, is a huge challenge. All I had with me was Rs.20 in change and rest in 2000 Rs notes. If I had given him 2000, he would have fought with me again over change.”
Meanwhile, an onlooker from Delhi was shocked to learn that in some parts of India, autos still charge sums in 2 digits.